Posts Tagged ‘thanks’

What Can I Give Him?

“What can I give Him,

Poor as I am?

If I were a shepherd

I would bring a lamb,

If I were a wise man

I would do my part.

Yet what can I give Him?

Give my heart.”

–Christina Rossetti

In my former church we sang this poem/song every Christmas.  It asks a great question.  At Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus and give each other gifts.  It is only reasonable to consider what we might give Jesus for His birthday.

nativity ornament

He has given us some solid clues.  I will describe four of them in this post and four more in my next post.

I think Jesus would be so grateful for these gifts (more…)

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So you’ve had a rough day/week/month/year? You lost your job. The house is in foreclosure. Your child is on drugs. Your dog died. Your girlfriend/boyfriend broke up with you. And the holidays are looming.

Years ago the Lord gave me a little outline that I have used personally and taught my children for when life gets challenging: 3 T’s for Tough Times. I hope they will help and encourage you.

Tell the Truth
The first thing I do when I don’t like something in my life is have an honest conversation with God. I bring my concerns to Him, and I tell Him the truth about how I feel. Yes, I am respectful, even worshipful. But God has invited us to worship Him in Spirit and in truth. (John 4:24)

I don’t believe He wants me to talk to him in the “correct way.” I am confident He wants me to tell Him that I am angry or hurt or confused or devastated or very afraid or…. I can tell Him what I like and what I don’t like about what is happening.

But then comes T #2:

Thank the Lord
God makes some pretty preposterous commands sometimes: In everything give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

In everything? When the diagnosis is cancer? When your house is in foreclosure? When your daughter is cutting herself?

Yes. Everything.

Three wonderful things happen when I say Thank You, Lord.
1. My attitude begins to change, at least a little bit.

2. I acknowledge to God and myself that I believe God is God and God is good. He is sovereign and His intentions toward me are good.

3. I hand God the key to open the door to do the wonderful good that He wants to do

That brings me to T #3.

Trust the Good
Of course you know the wonderful promise of Romans 8:28: And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

And perhaps this hopeful word will add more encouragement: And I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good for them. I will put a desire in their hearts to worship me, and they will never leave me. I will find joy doing good for them and will faithfully and wholeheartedly replant them in this land.(Jeremiah 32:40-41)

When I trust the good—God and His intentions—I open my eyes, my mind, my heart. I begin to see the good He is doing in me, through me, in my loved one, in the situation. The more I trust His Godness and His goodness, the more I anticipate His involvement and intervention…in the Tough Times

Three simple truths:
Tell the Truth
Thank the Lord
Trust the Good.

What have been some of your recent tough times? What has helped you through them?

c2012 Judy Douglass

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In honor of my Kindling post #200, I want to say thank you to my readers.

I am so grateful for those who take time to read what I write.  I certainly hope Kindling has been an encouragement to you—and trust it has ignited a few fires in your heart and mind.

I would like to invite you to subscribe to Kindling, if you don’t already.  I subscribe to blogs I want to be sure to see, so they come to my inbox.  I may not read them all, but I don’t have to go looking for them.  They come to me.  So all you have to do to ensure that Kindling comes to you is click on the Subscribe icon in the upper right corner.

I also want to invite you to enter into conversation on Kindling.  I would love to hear from you:  Do you have thoughts or responses to a particular article?  Topics you would love to see me address?  Concerns you want to express?

Of course, I would be additionally grateful if you recommend Kindling to your friends.

And I would love to pray for you.  Let me know if I can do that with some specific requests.

May your Thanksgiving celebration be joyful and filled with gratitude to our very good God.

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Remembering My Mama

My mother went to heaven two years ago today.  I still miss her.
Shortly before her departure, our family celebrated her 90 years on earth.  Most of us wrote a tribute to her as part of that celebration.  Here is mine:

Tribute to Mama

Mama, you have given me so many gifts.  Of course there are the many tangible gifts, the things, the jewelry, the clothes.  And financial gifts—most everything we have done to fix up our house comes from your kindness.  I am so grateful!
But I am even more grateful for the intangible gifts you have given me.
Emotions. No one denies that you have plenty of emotions.  And I seem to have received a good share of them.  But those emotions allow me to live my life with joy and passion and a whole heart.  Thank you.

Some people probably call this stubbornness.  You have it and so do it.  But it is a great quality that enables us to push through, stick it out, not give up, never settle for less.  I wouldn’t want to be without tenacity, because I don’t think I could have lived through my life without it. Thank you.
Generosity.  Many have mentioned this quality in you—because it is perhaps your most defining one.  You have given and given and given.  We have all benefited.  And I am so grateful that you have passed that on to me.  One of my greatest joys in life is to give.  Since I don’t have a lot of tangible things to give, I have learned to give in other ways—through love, listening, encouragement and prayer.  Thank you.
So please accept my thanks, my gratitude, my appreciation for the multitude of gifts you have given to me.  My life is so much richer because you are part of it!

I love you,

c Judy Douglass

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